Today, 256 organizations representing millions nationwide joined in urging Congress to lift budget caps so that we do not turn our backs on providing vital services. The groups, representing faith organizations, human service providers, and those concerned about needs including health care, housing, nutrition, environmental safety, education, child care and more, called upon Congress to set domestic and international spending for FY 2020 at levels no less than the House totals.
Reports that scores of immigrant families across the United States soon will be rounded up for deportation are the latest reminder that President Trump’s immigration policies are cruel and inhumane and not representative of the type of nation we aspire to be.
On Tuesday, at a House Budget Committee hearing entitled “Poverty in America: Economic Realities of Struggling Families,” 10 Republican congressmen participated—all men, all white. Ohio’s Bill Johnson challenged the testimony of two of the hearing’s witnesses, the Reverend Drs. William Barber II and Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, who’d called on the committee to tackle poverty as a moral imperative. “I been a Christian since I was 10 years old,” Johnson responded. “I don’t find anywhere in the scripture where Jesus said that it was Caesar’s job to feed the poor, and to clothe the widows, and take care of the orphans. It’s the church’s responsibility, the community’s responsibility, your neighbor’s responsibility, it’s your responsibility to do those things.”
Three years ago, in August 2016, I set foot on American soil for the first time. I was ecstatic to finally experience and see what life in the richest hegemonic nation would look like. As I embarked upon my journey of the so-called “American Dream,” I eagerly counted down the days to finally acquire a college education, studying International Relations in the nation I believed was the center of all global affairs. Growing up in the Philippines, a developing economy, I saw the grim reality of how poverty can strike countless homes, leaving families and children in hungry despair.
Earlier this week, something happened on a stage at Trinity Washington University that doesn’t happen nearly often enough. Nine presidential candidates gathered to discuss how to best fight poverty in the United States. That might not sound all that amazing, but consider that in the 2016 presidential election, not one of the 26 debates was dedicated to the subject of poverty. And in 2012, if you watched the four general election debates between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, you did not hear a single question about the state of poverty in our country.
CHN just released another edition of the Human Needs Report. Read on for the latest on Congress’s spending work, long-overdue disaster aid, a step forward for Dreamers, tax credits for working families, and more.
Last January, in the midst of the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history, Voices for Human Needs and a number of other media outlets detailed the plight of federal contractors. Unlike government employees, who usually receive their pay retroactively in the event of a shutdown, federal contractors are left out in the cold, without compensation. These contractors include low-income workers such as janitors, security guards and cooks. But earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee announced that an upcoming spending package will include back pay for an estimated 580,000 federal contractors.
As we approach the upcoming months of summer vacation, it’s easy to imagine the flurry of excitement for students awaiting long days of snow cones and playing at the pool. However, this is often not the case. For many children, this time of year means losing access to school meal programs and facing the threat of hunger. This was a major point of conversation at the Spotlight on Child Poverty event at the Capitol on June 12, part of First Focus’ Children’s Week 2019.
A trove of new information reveals how dangerous and dismal conditions are for both adult and children migrants held in facilities stretching from El Paso, Texas to South Miami-Dade, Florida.The leak of new information began on Thursday, May 30, when CNN obtained a confidential report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General. The report revealed “dangerous overcrowding” and unsanitary conditions at the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center. The facility has a maximum capacity of 125 migrants; however, on May 7 and 8, logs indicated that there were “approximately 750 and 900 detainees, respectively.”
Finally: people in disaster-struck communities across America should see more help soon. Members of the Coalition on Human Needs stand with them in welcoming this aid. We congratulate the House of Representatives and Senate for overwhelming votes to enact $19.1 billion to help states and territories recover from hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, tropical storms, flooding, earthquake, volcanic eruption, and wildfires.